NZ expect aerial bombardment

JJ Harmse

Pretoria – The All Blacks hope to beat the Springboks with counter-attacking rugby when the Tri-Nations kicks off on July 10.

New Zealand wing Cory Jane said that they are once again anticipating an aerial attack from the Boks, but this time the South African defence may be in for a surprise.

“I know the change in the laws has led to fewer kicks, but I expect the same tactic as last year from the Springboks. But this time we’ll look for more counter-attacking opportunities,” said Jane.

New Zealand could not cope with the aerial bombardment from South Africa last year.

“The more they kick, the more we will counter-attack,” Jane told NZPA.

“We have showed this year that counter-attacking can be the key to success. If we keep working hard, it will also bring us success against the Boks.”

Meanwhile, All Black hooker Corey Flynn received the go-ahead to play against the Boks.

Flynn, who played well for the New Zealand Maori against Ireland and England, is over his ankle injury.

The All Blacks get together in Auckland on Thursday for a short training camp and according to coach Graham Henry it’s now time to take on the big dogs.

“The Tri-Nations is the toughest competition in international rugby. We did well by winning the first four Tests, but this is the real test,” said the coach.

“We have enough reason to be optimistic about our chances, but every one of us will have to do his bit if we are going to be successful."

The Kiwis are hoping that their lineout woes from last year against the Boks are something of the past following the success against Wales and Ireland.

All Black lock Tom Donnelly said that the Tri-Nations would be a genuine test of their progress.

“I did not play in the competition last year, but reckon things are going reasonably well. We’ll have to improve in the next few weeks,” Donnelly told the All Blacks’ website.

Meanwhile, Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has the backing of Australian rugby bosses in spite of his team’s 56% winning ration.

Deans met with Australian Rugby Union high performance manager David Nucifora and chief executive John O’Neill this week.

“Yes, the team has to try harder, but Robbie is the right man to steer the ship,” said O’Neill.
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